A True Tale of Nazi Plunder

Author Menachem Kaiser.

On Thursday, August 5, at 7:30 p.m., Menachem Kaiser will discuss his celebrated book, “Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasures” at The Hampton Synagogue Author Discussion Series. The program, chaired by Glenn Dorskind and moderated by Rabbi Avraham Bronstein, will conclude with a dessert reception and book signing. Books will be available for purchase, facilitated by Westhampton Beach’s The Red Jacket.

Menachem Kaiser’s book “Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasures.”

Kaiser’s brilliantly told story, woven from improbable events and profound revelations, is set in motion when the author takes up his Holocaust-survivor grandfather’s former battle to reclaim the family’s apartment building in Sosnowiec, Poland. Soon, he is on a circuitous path to encounters with the long-time residents of the building, and with a Polish lawyer known as “The Killer.” A surprise discovery — that his grandfather’s cousin not only survived the war, but wrote a secret memoir while a slave laborer in a vast, secret Nazi tunnel complex — leads to Kaiser being adopted as a virtual celebrity by a band of Silesian treasure seekers who revere the memoir as the indispensable guidebook to Nazi plunder. Propelled by rich original research, Kaiser immerses readers in profound questions that reach far beyond his personal quest. What does it mean to seize your own legacy? Can reclaimed property repair rifts among the living? Plunder is both a deeply immersive adventure story and an irreverent, daring interrogation of inheritance — material, spiritual, familial, and emotional.

Menachem Kaiser is a writer living in Brooklyn. He grew up in Toronto, Canada, has a BA from Columbia University and an MFA from University of Michigan, and was a Fulbright Fellow to Lithuania. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, New York, BOMB, Vogue and elsewhere.

The program takes place in the Berman Sanctuary of The Hampton Synagogue, 154 Sunset Avenue, Westhampton Beach. Admission is free but registration is required at 631-288-0534, ext. 10.